Dr. William Lane Craig, in his book, On Guard, tells his personal story, one that seems to summarize much of what I have been attempting to highlight in this column.
Raised in a fine although non-Christian home, while still a teenager, he began questioning his place and purpose in life. To find an answer he began attending a large church but soon discovered that that fellowship was little more than a social club.
Although claiming to be Christians, he found they were living by standards far lower than his own, pretending to be something they were not. On one really “bad hair day,” he walked into German class and sat behind a girl that always seemed to be so happy. On impulse, he tapped her on the shoulder and growled, “Sandy, what are you always so happy about anyway?” I will let him tell “the rest of the story.”
“Well, Bill,” she said, “it’s because I’m saved!” I was stunned. I had never heard language like this before. “You’re what?” I demanded. “I know Jesus Christ as my
personal Savior,” she explained. “I go to church,” I said lamely. “But that’s not enough, Bill,” she said, “You’ve got to have Him really living in your heart.” That was the limit! “What would He want to do a thing like that for:” I demanded. “Because He loves you, Bill.” That hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I was, so filled with anger and hate, and she said there was someone who really loved me. … That began for me the most agonizing period of soul-searching that I’ve ever been through.
I got a New Testament and read it from cover to cover. And as I did, I was absolutely captivated by the person of Jesus of Nazareth. … Meanwhile, Sandy introduced me to other Christian students. … They were living life on a plane of reality that I didn’t even dream existed, and it imparted a deep meaning and joy to their lives, which I craved. … My spiritual search went on for the next six months. … Finally, I just came to the end of my rope and cried out to God. I cried out all the anger and bitterness that had built up inside me, and at the same time, I felt this tremendous infusion of joy. That moment changed my whole life” (On Guard, Chapter 2).
So dramatic was the change that came to his life he has since become one of the great defenders of the Christian faith. There is, indeed, something real to Biblical Christianity. Those fundamental issues of life – our origin, our purpose, our morality, and our destiny – all find their fulfillment in the fact of God’s existence and in surrender to His authority.
Far from being an “insurance policy” against the possibility of hell, we have discovered a quality of life, peace of mind, new strength to face our bad days, and a reason for keeping on that we have been unable to find in any other way. And, as if that were not enough, there is a heaven in our future … and we can hardly wait!